In England’s fair and fertile plains
Where liberty and plenty reigns
Full many a cherry grows
With coat as dark as sable night
And many a fragrant rose as white
As winter’s unsunn’d swows.
And eke in England’s towns I ween,
A comely cat is frequent seen
Of such a cherry-dye
Whose gloss gives lustre to her toes
That, soft and velvet, with the rose
In snowy whiteness vie.
Your riddle, sapient sir, behold
With dextrous skill we soon unfold,
Yet such a cobweb jest.
Some son of Balaam’s long-eared race
Alone we think, would dare to place.
Within the sacred Chest.
Go idler task thy nobler powers
And give henceforth thy studious hours
To sense and song sublime
Which in this Chest their favourite shrine
Embalm’d by Phœbus and the Nine
May scorn the tooth of time.
The genius of the Attic Chest